Preschool & K
updated March 19, 2020
The Great Pause -- A Tale for Young Children
by Elizabeth Emmett
a free, non-scary, and appropriate tale you can tell your young child to bring a sense of safety and reassurance around social distancing
This is important! Please share with other families you know with young children!!!!!
I would define Preschool as roughly age 2-5, whereas Kindergarten I see as more age 5-6.
*NEW* Preschool / Kindergarten Waldorf Homeschool - Booklist - 12 GREAT books!
To be specific, this list is for the family who is doing Waldorf for early childhood but not the grades. If you know you are going to move forward to Waldorf grade 1, and beyond,
I have a list of Kindy books that also include content for older children. This saves you money in the long run!
If that is you, I suggest building a library over time, starting with my
Preschool Curriculum Booklist
and adding my Kindergarten Curriculum Booklist a year or two later.
First Grade in Waldorf education comes when the child demonstrates certain physiological signs, not with a birthday, so be sure
to look at the Class 1 page for more information.
Teaching Our Children to Read, Write, and Spell: A Developmental Approach Looking at the Relationship of Children's Foundational Neurological Pathways to their Higher Capacities for Learning -- the MUST READ article
about how movement now lays the foundation for reading later
Parent Enrichment Reading - great collection of articles
gathered by the Mendocino Waldorf School
A Beautiful Waldorf Playroom - Wishlist
blog post when my son turned 13 months old
What Waldorf Toys Do You
blog post when my son turned 3 years old
Some great suggestions for fine motor activities!
The Kindness Curriculum (FREE)
from the Center for Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison
I really enjoy the Tinkergarten weekly activity emails! Here are some of my recent favorites:
There's a sweet Tinkergarten blog too called More Than Mudpies:
Important Reading on the Value of Play:
More Time and Space for Free Play in Early Childhood Care
This paper was presented to the European Early Childhood Education Research Association in Strasbourg , France, on August 29, 2009 by Philipp Reubke, kindergarten teacher at the Rudolf Steiner kindergarten in Colmar.
The Importance of Play (PDF)
Kildare Steiner School
Delaying Kindergarten to Age 7 Offers Key Benefits, Washington Post (October, 2015)
Reading Instruction in Kindergarten: Little to Gain and Much to Lose
report from the Alliance for Childhood
Let the Kids Learn Through Play, New York Times (May, 2015)
Requiring Kindergarteners to Read May Harm Some, Washington Post (January 2015)
This Really Isn't Kindergarten Anymore, Washington Post (May, 2015)
Crisis in the Kindergarten: Why Children Need to Play in School
report from the Alliance for Childhood
If you're looking for a gift for a new mom, a gift for yourself, or a parent book group suggestion that is not about a specific curriculum but about child development and healthy family rhythms, I strongly recommend Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children by Angela Hanscom.
It's written by a pediatric OT. I've used it as a book group book; I know Waldorf schools have as well. It is really wonderful. Inspirational. Not preachy. Full of ideas. And timely. Especially for people to give themselves permission to just let their children go play in their yards!!!!
New Preschool Program
"I have heard Waldorf is wonderful and I really want to try it with my young child, but
I don't know anything about it. I'm really just learning. Where do I begin?"
Having been doing Waldorf for over thirteen years, I have new and different ideas
about how to go about it from the way I began; however, I am keeping my old curriculum on
the site as well as many families find it useful in their transition to Waldorf.
For my old lesson
plans, including 6 week units and newsletter topics, see the links to the left.
new list of the essential books & supplies and how to go about "homeschooling" with Waldorf for
ages 2 and up, please click here: New Preschool Program.
Sample Preschool Co-op Schedule - Monday and Thursday (PDF)
Starting a Waldorf Preschool Co-op - Booklist, Schedule, and Notes on Playthings to Make/Buy
Waldorf Preschool Suggestions - September
Looking for help with Circle Time? Here are some complete Waldorf circles available online in PDF form:
*NEW* Blog posts from teaching Early Childhood (ages 3-6) in our homeschool co-op, 2019-2020
Blog posts from teaching Early Childhood (ages 3-6) in our homeschool co-op, 2018-2019
Old Preschool Program
These were my personal lesson plans
as my children and I transitioned into Waldorf way back in 2005.
I offer them here in case
they are helpful to other families going through the same process
but they are merely suggestions and NOT a prescription. Feel free
to substitute books and activities based on what you have at home.
Click here, or use the links to the left, to see the Old Preschool Program.
Storytelling / Puppetry in Waldorf Early Childhood
I cannot do better than to share my notes from several workshops I've taken with Suzanne Down of Juniper Tree Puppetry Arts, the master at Waldorf storytelling and therapeutic puppetry in early childhood,
to help you picture what Storytelling and Puppetry look like in action in a Waldorf classroom.
My notes include my initial experiences with needle felting, and step by step instructions for
creating several puppets, as well as how to tell the stories.
I went from this experience with Suzanne Down to her week long puppetry workshop July 8 - 12, 2009: "The Sense of Touch and Warmth: Puppetry as Bridge for these Foundations for Life" at the Boulder Waldorf Kindergarten; Boulder CO (which I drove to from Maryland, I was so excited to work with her) and those notes are in the blog in several posts. Please visit the links below.
This is where
I learned how to make a rod puppet. Our focus was on the Mother archetype: I HIGHLY recommend all of her work. If she offers a workshop near you, do NOT hesitate. I also suggest
signing up for her free monthly email newsletter. It always includes a gentle seasonal story. Here is an example: "The Blessing Cake: A New Year Story"
The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes
which Suzanne Down recommends as an essential resource
Guest Blog Post by Madrone d'Ardenne
Early Childhood Library
"Tell Me a Story" Book Review
If you plan on spending what Live Ed charges for their Kindy program, but want
more content for your dollar spent, I have put together a
Kindergarten Curriculum Booklist
This is part of my goal to create comprehensive booklists for each grade level which contain 12
books. The list of a dozen books (builds upon the
Program" above but can also be used on its own) will give you an excellent Early Childhood library!
The following are some miscellaneous curriculum resources available online: